Federal officials announced Friday that an Oneonta man was sentenced last week to probation for stealing Social Security benefits.

According to a media release, Jason L. Wentworth, 35, was sentenced on Jan. 2 to five years of probation for stealing Social Security survivors benefits and for making false statements to the Social Security Administration that enabled him to obtain those benefits.

Wentworth pleaded guilty on Aug. 21, 2019, to a six-count indictment charging three counts of theft of government property, one count of representative payee fraud, and two counts of making false statements in connection with his theft of Social Security benefits, the release said.

After his wife’s death, prosecutors said, Wentworth applied for and received survivors benefits on his son’s and his own behalf, and continued to receive and keep those benefits, even after the son’s maternal grandparents took over as his son’s primary caregivers. Wentworth was not entitled to collect benefits on his own behalf once he stopped serving as the primary caregiver for his son, the release said.

Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy also ordered Wentworth to pay restitution to the government in the amount of $27,525 and restitution to his son in the amount of $25,035. McAvoy also ordered Wentworth to forfeit $3,822.

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